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Voters favor Measure 1 despite 2008 failure

GRAND FORKS -- Measure 1, which would amend the state Constitution to allow legislators to be appointed to statewide office, appeared headed for victory Tuesday night.

As of 10:38 p.m., the measure had 82,250 "yes" votes and 55,817 "no" votes with 395 precincts reporting.

The 2011 Legislature referred the measure to the ballot. The House favored the measure 89-5, and the Senate favored the measure 37-8.

Despite its clear majority, many lawmakers were skeptical it would pass.

Proponents of the measure said it will give highly qualified state legislators the opportunity to take a position in strategic offices, especially given the challenges the state faces with the oil boom.

However, some lawmakers who favored the measure predicted it would fail because it was overshadowed by the three other ballot measures that got more publicity, and it didn't have anybody advocating on its behalf.

Sen. Mac Schneider, D-Grand Forks, was one of eight senators that did not support the measure in the Legislature. He said the measure only benefitted a select few and, "didn't affect the everyday lives for North Dakota."

The same amendment faced a 2008 statewide vote, failing 57-42 percent.